EPL: 5 Best Bargain Signings of the Summer Transfer Window so Far
With every Russian oligarch and billionaire Sheikh pumping money into their local football club, money is thrown around far too easily in the transfer market these days.
That being said, the Premier League is yet to see a gigantic, blockbuster transfer this summer besides Manchester City's spending spree, but didn't everyone see that coming?
Despite the lack of massive signings (although there have been a few), a number of shrewd deals have still been made.
Without further ado, here are the five best bargain signings of the Premier League transfer window thus far.
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Mark Schwarzer (Fulham to Chelsea)
Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma to Fulham)
Fernando Amorebieta (Athletic Bilbao to Fulham)
Kolo Toure (Manchester City to Liverpool)
Emmenuele Giaccherini (Juventus to Sunderland)
Marc Muniesa (Barcelona to Stoke City)
Modibo Diakite (Lazio to Sunderland)
Arouna Kone (Wigan to Everton, £6 Million)
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Despite Wigan's relegation from the Premier League, Arouna Kone stood out during his debut season in England, scoring 11 goals and notching up five assists.
With Roberto Martinez calling quits on his memorable spell with Wigan in favor of a move to Everton, Kone followed his former boss by joining the Spaniard in Merseyside.
As he is fast, strong and a decent finisher, one gets the feeling that Kone will flourish with more support at Goodison Park.
According to BBC Sport, Everton signed the Ivorian forward for just £6 million, so it amazes me that more clubs weren't in for him. Could Kone become the consistent striker the Blues have long been searching for?
Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona to Everton, Loan)
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Everton, in typical Everton fashion, have been pulling off a number of cheap yet clever signings so far this summer.
Arguably the pick of the bunch is Gerard Deulofeu, snapped up on a season-long loan from Barcelona—meaning it won't cost Roberto Martinez a penny.
Like Arouna Kone, it came as a surprise that Everton didn't seem to face much competition in signing Deulofeu. The 19-year-old scored 18 goals in 33 appearances for Barcelona B last season, including some—dare I say it—Messiesque goals.
The young winger represents a real coup for the Toffees, and should take the Premier League by storm next season with his undoubtable talent.
Simon Mignolet (Sunderland to Liverpool, £9 Million)
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Although the £9 million—according to BBC Sport—that Liverpool paid Sunderland for Simon Mignolet is no small fee, it'll certainly be viewed as a real coup.
Mignolet was one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League last season, making 149 saves—second only to West Ham's Jussi Jaaskelainen. At times, he single-handedly (see what I did there?) saved Sunderland during their grueling battle against relegation—without the Belgian between the sticks, the Black Cats likely would've gone down last season.
As a part of this modern influx of young Belgian talent, the 25-year-old Mignolet is still quite young, and can one day be the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. Will he fulfill his potential with Liverpool?
Dejan Lovren (Olympique Lyon to Southampton, £6.8 Million)
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One transfer that has gone completely under the radar this summer—probably because not many people know him—was Dejan Lovren's move from Olympique Lyon to Southampton.
Aside from Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva, there aren't many defenders in Ligue 1 who are known by people outside of France. At just £6.8 million though, according to The Guardian, Southampton have snapped up one of the best centre-backs in Ligue 1.
Strong in the tackle, dominant in the air, and standing tall at 6'2", the Croatian international's attributes are suited perfectly to English football.
Southampton have shown a knack for pulling off smart signings in the past few summers: Gaston Ramirez, Nathaniel Clyne and Jay Rodriguez, to name a few. In Dejan Lovren, the Saints have made yet another shrewd addition to their squad.
Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre to Arsenal, Free)
The fact that Yaya Sanogo is the archetypal Arsene Wenger signing—young, French and injury-prone—has blinded many people from the fact that picking up the former Auxerre striker was actually a very smart move.
Sure, he's not Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney or Gonzalo Higuain, but in a few years' time it's quite possible that people will look back and praise Wenger for spotting Sanogo's talent at such a young age.
The 20-year-old was one of France's stand out players in their victory at the U20 World Cup this summer, scoring four goals throughout the competition. The youngster's movement, pace and physique remind me of another certain French striker that's played at Arsenal (hint: it's not Jeremie Aliadiere).
Oh, and did I mention he was free? Even if Sanogo turns out to play four first team matches over the next three seasons, there won't be a massive amount of cash wasted on him, as Arsenal didn't spend a penny on his transfer fee.
Unlike the other players on this list, Sanogo won't be expected to make an immediate impact at the Emirates this season—but keep an eye on him in the next few years.